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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Leviticus Chapter 16

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1445-1444 BC)
Overview: A Handbook for the Priests and Levites (c 1-27)
Theme: Worshipping a Holy God (c 1-17)
Message: Instructions for the Alter (v 1-34)

Leviticus 16 Commentary

(16:1) The Day of Atonement for sin - The Day of Atonement was the greatest day of the year for Israel. The Hebrew word for atone means "to cover." Old Testament sacrifices could not actually remove sins, only cover them. On this day, the people confessed their sins as a nation, and the high priest went into the most holy place to make atonement for them. Sacrifices were made and blood was shed so that the people's sins could be "covered" until Christ's sacrifice on the cross would give people the opportunity to have their sin removed forever.

(16:2-4) Approaching God - Aaron had to spend hours preparing himself to meet God. But we can approach God anytime (Hebrews 4:16). What a privilege! We are offered easier access to God than even the high priests of Old Testament times! Still, we must never forget that God is holy nor let this privilege cause us to approach him carelessly. The way to God has been opened to us by Christ. But easy access to God does not eliminate our need to prepare our hearts as we draw near to him in prayer.

(16:5) The Censer -  A censer was a dish or shallow bowl that hung from a chain or was carried with tongs. Inside the censer were placed incense (a combination of sweet-smelling resins and spices) and burning coals from the altar. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the most holy place carrying a smoking censer. The smoke shielded him from the ark of the covenant and the presence of God--otherwise, he would die. Incense may also have had a very practical purpose- the sweet smell drew the people's attention to the morning and evening sacrifices and helped cover the sometimes foul smell of the slaughtered animals.

(16:6-28) The Meaning of the Goats - This event with the two goats occurred on the Day of Atonement. The two goats represented the two ways God was dealing with the Israelites' sin: () He was forgiving their sin through the first goat, which was sacrificed, and (2) he was removing their guilt through the second goat, the scapegoat, which was sent into the wilderness. The same ritual had to be repeated every year. Jesus Christ's death replaced this system once and for all. We can have our sins forgiven and guilt removed by placing our trust in Christ (Hebrews 10:1-18).

 

 


Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Scapegoat

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Leviticus with Chapter 16 and in today's text we see the day of Atonement for sin. This was the greatest day of the year for Israel. On this day the Israelite's paid for their sins as a nation. The word atone means to cover and the blood of the sacrifice covered the sins of the nation for a year satisfying the wrath of God until Christ paid for all mans sin once and for all on the Cross of Calvary. In this chapter we are introduced to the scapegoat which was one of goats that was released into the wilderness which represents the removing of mans guilt while the other is goat was sacrificed representing the removal mans sin. In making application we see that when God removes your sin - He removes your guilt. The enemy though wants you to be paralyzed by your guilt so you will be ineffective in your service to the Lord. Your sin is forgiven and God sees it no more. No longer do you need to walk around with the baggage of guilt from your sins once they have been confessed to the Lord and He forgives them.  How about you? Do you see when you are forgiven that your guilt is forgiven too? Let us learn from today's text embracing the scapegoat and the truth that when God forgives he forgets and restores us whole.

 

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Leviticus 16

Leviticus 16

 1And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died;

 2And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

 3Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.

 4He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.

 5And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

 6And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.

 7And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

 8And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.

 9And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.

 10But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

 11And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself:

 12And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail:

 13And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:

 14And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.

 15Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:

 16And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

 17And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.

 18And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about.

 19And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

 20And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:

 21And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:

 22And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

 23And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there:

 24And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people.

 25And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar.

 26And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp.

 27And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung.

 28And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.

 29And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:

 30For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

 31It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.

 32And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments:

 33And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.

 34And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses